2x quality

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Forum topic by Rob McCune posted 03-14-2007 09:11 PM 1670 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Rob McCune

123 posts in 4122 days

03-14-2007 09:11 PM

My wife asked me an interesting question yesterday. Is the fir used for 2×4’s and 2×6’s any good or is it just the cast off the lumber industry can’t make anything usable out of?

-- Rob McCune

7 replies so far

View BassBully's profile


261 posts in 4121 days

#1 posted 03-14-2007 09:48 PM

The 2x’s are very usable depending on the application. You have to be careful though, most 2x’s come from a lumber stack that was sitting outdoors and left accessible to moisture. This means that you should let them rest flat when you get them home until they dry. Otherwise, if you use them in a nice project right away, you’ll probably experience warping.

I built my mom a porch swing all out of 2x’s. It gave it a nice rustic look. The 2x’s were used as the frame of the swing while I cut slats for the seat and back. I left it unfinished because she said that it would give her something to do. She hasn’t decided to paint or stain it yet so I don’t know what she’ll do with it.

-- There are three types of people in the world, those who can count and those who can't!

View Dollarbill's profile


91 posts in 4162 days

#2 posted 03-15-2007 04:00 AM

I built my two 3’ double doors (with glass in the tops) for my shop from 2xs. Milled them down and grooved each one with my router.

They turned out real nice except for the fact that I didn’t check the mostier level and they warped on me. (I have a $130 meter in a drawer but forgot to use it)

I had to install angle iron to straighten them out. That was 6 or 7 years ago and I could probabley remove the angle iron now, but I leave it on to remind me how dumb I am every time I walk out the door.

Dumb Cajun, Dumb Cajun (ect).


-- Make Dust

View Rob McCune's profile

Rob McCune

123 posts in 4122 days

#3 posted 03-15-2007 05:12 AM

I jointed and joined couple pieces of 2×4 and then planed them to thickness once dry. I just pinted them to test them out and they look pretty nice. I am kind of thinking of trying to make something from 2X stuff now. It’s a lot cheaper than hardwood.

-- Rob McCune

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4351 days

#4 posted 03-15-2007 06:00 AM

There are books geared towards making furniture out of 2x stock, and schools of thought that say you shouldn’t. “2x’s aren’t strong enough to make furniture out of…” While that may be true, I think it’s funny, because we live in houses made out of them!

I think, depending on the application and if the lumber is acclimated, anything goes.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View dennis mitchell's profile

dennis mitchell

3994 posts in 4338 days

#5 posted 03-15-2007 11:30 PM

In many parts of the West you find Fir (which is what most 2X4s are) in many older buildings. It has been used for doors, cabinets, paneling and trim. Most of it has been painted over or ripped out and replaced with MDF. We have been building furniture out of Fir and other soft woods for a few 1000 years…of course no one told them they where not strong enough for furniture. I saw a bit by some experts the other day telling me if I remodel my house I have to use 3/4 inch drywall…

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4184 days

#6 posted 03-16-2007 12:45 AM

we have to be engineers to distinguish between the truth and the fear factor: buy this or else… buy this, or that will happen… truth? or fiction?

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Bill's profile


2579 posts in 4185 days

#7 posted 03-17-2007 06:32 PM

Interestingly, the recent ShopNotes magazine had an article on working with dimensional lumber. They discussed several items about it, preparing it, selecting, sanding, etc. They also had a little blub about using 2X4 lumber to make straight grained wood, like for the top of a workbench. They would take a 2X4, rip it, and then reglue it with the straight grain facing up. An inexpensive way to create a workbench top. Sounds like it would work to me, not only for a workbench but other applications as well.

Let us know how the 2X4 project goes.

-- Bill, Turlock California,

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